News

EarthFix Reports
9:44 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Legislation Revived To Protect 126,000 Acres Of Olympic Peninsula

The Gray Wolf River drops more than 5,000 feet in elevation on its 25-mile run from the Olympic Mountains to where it empties into the Dungeness River near the town of Sequim, Wash. This section is in National Forest and could one day be logged.
KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Washington Sen. Patty Murray on Friday introduced a bill to permanently protect more than 126,000 acres of Washington's Olympic Peninsula -- an area the size of Seattle and Tacoma combined.

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Health
8:57 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Little Progress In Fighting Spread Of Gonorrhea In Northwest

Neisseria gonorrhoeae
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Originally published on Sun January 19, 2014 6:22 am

Public health officials in the Northwest say a series of gonorrhea outbreaks shows little sign of letting up. In fact, in some places, rates of the STD may be getting worse.

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EarthFix Reports
8:54 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Group Calls For Expanding Killer Whale Habitat Protection

The Center for Biological Diversity is asking for a major expansion in the protected habitat for Puget Sound's killer whales.

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 2:26 pm

An environmental group is calling for a major expansion in habitat protection for Puget Sound's killer whales.

Research shows the endangered orcas that live in Puget Sound in the summer are venturing up and down the West Coast in the winter to forage for food. Scientists tracking these southern resident orcas have followed the whales as far north as Alaska and as far south as Monterey, Calif.

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DREAM Act
8:50 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Muslim-American Communities Lobby For Equal Financial Aid

More than 500 Muslim Americans lobbied for the Washington DREAM Act in Olympia
Taylor Winkel Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 10:05 am

Immigrant rights groups are trying to convince Washington state Senators to make undocumented students eligible for financial aid.

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Sacred Catch
6:00 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Before Salmon Was King, Before Salmon Was Greed

Ramona Morris, 82, is a Lummi elder and has lived on the reservation near Bellingham, Wash., her whole life. To her, salmon is more than food: it's a way of life.
Credit KUOW Photo/Jeff Emtman

The Salish Sea is a network of waterways that run from northwestern Washington to British Columbia. The waters of the Salish Sea are home to some of the richest marine life on the planet. The Lummi Tribe of Northern Washington rely on the abundance of these waters, but the fish have been in decline for the last century and a half.

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Education Reform
5:00 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Parents Pack Meetings With Charter School Hopefuls

Parents in a packed room listen to public testimony regarding proposed charter schools in the Seattle area at South Seattle Community College on Monday.
Ann Dornfeld KUOW

The Washington State Charter School Commission is wrapping up three weeks of public hearings for 19 proposed schools.

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Washington Legislature
10:16 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Genetically-Modified Labeling Fight In Washington Continues With New Bills

Washington lawmakers will hear a bill to label genetically engineered salmon. The proposed bill would also ban transgenic salmon production in the state.
Credit Flickr Photo/Katrine Kaarsemaker

When Rep. Cary Condotta campaigned for labeling genetically modified food last fall, he noticed reactions were different depending on the type of food: fish or plant. “When you start talking about modifying animals to grow faster and larger, boy, they light up,” he said. “People go, really? They’re not doing that, are they?”

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EarthFix Reports
9:22 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Spill Plan For Columbia River Oil Terminal Lays Out Worst-Case Scenarios

An oil terminal at the Port Westward Industrial Park near Clatskanie, Ore., submitted its spill contingency plans to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality this month.
Flickr Photo/Sam Beebe

The worst-case environmental scenario at an oil terminal on the lower Columbia River means 3.8 million gallons of crude spilling into sensitive wildlife habitat and shutting down a public drinking water intake, according to a draft response plan facility managers filed with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

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Politics
9:09 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Washington Lawmakers Move To Ban Pit Bull Bans

Zak Thatcher and her bull terrier Ozzy drove four hours to show their support for breed-neutral legislation.
Taylor Winkel Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 9:36 am

Payette County, Idaho bans pit bulls. Medford, Oregon is considering a ban of its own. But some Washington state representatives want to ban the bans.

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Education
4:52 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

New Bill Would Examine Student Privacy In Washington State

A bill introduced in the state Legislature this week calls for a study into how much student data is being released without families’ knowledge or consent.

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EarthFix Reports
12:36 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Scientists: Stop Worrying About Fukushima Radioactivity In Fish

Pete Knutson and his son Dylan sell wild salmon at farmers markets around Seattle. "We had people passing on our fish this year. It was directly because they were worried about Fukushima," Pete Knutson said.
Credit EarthFix Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Following the 2011 tsunami in Japan, a nuclear reactor released hundreds of millions of gallons of radioactive water into the ocean. That sparked fear that contaminated water would reach the West Coast, but three years later, scientists say that radiation in our waters isn’t necessarily linked to the nuclear reactor. 

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Transportation
11:38 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Workers To Descend Into Blocked Bertha In A Pressurized Bubble

A Seattle Tunnel Partners crew works on one of the tanks holding soil conditioner being used to seal an underground air bubble.
Credit KUOW Photo/John Ryan

To get Bertha moving again, state officials announced Wednesday that they are sending in human reinforcements – in a giant, pressurized bubble.

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Transportation
10:25 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Balter: Transportation Package Not Likely This Year

Washington state legislators have said for a couple of years now that passing a transportation package is among their top priorities. But Joni Balter, a longtime Seattle news analyst, told KUOW’s Bill Radke that won’t likely happen this year.

Medical Cannabis
9:11 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Medical Marijuana Patients Denounce Proposed Plant Limits, Patient Registry

File photo of a of a cannabis plant.
Cannabis Training University Wikimedia

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 3:54 pm

One of the hottest topics before the Washington legislature this year is how to regulate the medical marijuana marketplace.

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Environment
9:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Researchers Detect and 'Count' Fish From Just A Glass Of Water

Study co-author Kevan Yamahara collects a water sample at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Jesse Port Center for Ocean Solutions

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 4:55 pm

It's not something we often think about, but as we go about daily life, we're constantly shedding little flakes of skin. So are animals and fish.

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